Tuscan Pasta Tordellata with ragu, Swiss chard and ricotta

Tuscan Pasta Tordellata with ragu, Swiss chard and ricotta.

Known as Tuscan pasta tordellata, intordellata or stordellata, this delicious deconstructed version of a traditional tortelli recipe from Tuscany tastes as good as the filled pasta dish, with less work! I loved everything about this recipe, including having 2 sauces.

Tuscan pasta tordellata

I’m sure you will love this recipe too. It takes a little while to make especially if you make the ragu from scratch. But, this is also a great way to use up leftover ragu or bolognese. In which case, all you need to do is make the Swiss chard with ricotta and cook the pasta!

(This recipe was originally published in 2018 but has been updated with new photos and text)

ingredients for pasta tordellata

In Tuscany, tortelli (locally called tordelli) traditionally have a ricotta and swiss chard filling or are filled with a meat ragu containing Swiss chard. With both fillings the pasta is served with a Tuscan meat ragu. However, there are also other ways to serve the same ingredients with different pasta.

raw Swiss chard leaves in frying pan

Lasagne tordellate and other versions.

In Tuscany, the most well-known of this method of serving filling as a condiment is lasagne tordellate or stordellate. That recipe, traditional in the Massa and Carrara province, is made with small thick usually homemade lasagne squares. The lasagne squares are dressed with a Swiss chard and ragu mix. This would normally be the filling inside tordelli. In Massa, they even hold a lasagne intordellate feast every year in July.

chopped and cooked Swiss chard in frying pan

In other versions of this Tuscan pasta tordellata recipe, the filling and ragu aren’t mixed together and this is the recipe I made and have shared with you here. Obviously, the ‘filling’ in this version isn’t made with ragu but with ricotta and Swiss chard flavoured with nutmeg, as is traditional in the Maremma area of Tuscany. Some people also use spinach instead of chard.

cooked and chopped Swiss chard and fresh ricotta in bowl

What is Tuscan ragu?

The ragu I made for this Tuscan pasta tordellata recipe is a typical ragu from Tuscany. Tuscan ragu is with ground pork, beef and sausage meat. You can, of course, make it without the sausage if you prefer. Or, use your own ragu or Bolognese. It would be just as delicious. For vegetarians, a tomato or tomato and other veggie sauce is a delicious alternative.

chopped onions, celery and carrots in Dutch oven with sausage and ground meat

The pasta.

For the pasta, I used gigli, also known as campanelle, a typical pasta from Tuscany. The gigli came from a pasta maker, called Pasta Vale in Campofilone, Le Marche. This town is famous for a very fine egg pasta called maccheroncini di Campofilone (also very good with ragu!).

meat and vegetables cooking in Dutch oven

Pasta Vale is a small family run business managed by a lovely young woman called Valeria Marilungo. She and her father make a great selection of dried egg pasta. I went to visit them last year when I was in Campofilone and Valeria gave me some of their pasta to try, including this very good gigli. Check out Pasta Vale’s Facebook page for more info.. https://www.facebook.com/pastavale/  or their website (only in Italian). I know they export to Malta but I’m not sure where else. https://www.pastavale.it/

cooked Tuscan ragu in Dutch oven

If you don’t have gigli, you can make this recipe with many other types of pasta. I would recommend flat ribbons such as pappardelle or mafaldine or other short pasta such as penne! Alternatively, why not make some homemade lasagne and cut it into squares as they do in Tuscany?

gigli pasta by Pasta Vale

Different ways to plate Tuscan pasta tordellata.

I mixed the ricotta and chard with the cooked pasta and served it with a generous helping of ragu on top. I actually made 2 layers on each plate. However, you can do this as one layer. I plated pasta with ricotta then ragu, then more pasta with ricotta and more ragu. But, whichever way you serve this recipe, I’m sure you will love it as much as I did. And your family or guests will love it too!

cooked gigli pasta mixed with Swiss chard and ricotta in skillet

If you do try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please comment here on the blog or on the Pasta Project Facebook page. If you take photos, do join my pastaliciousness Facebook group and share them with us. I really appreciate your feedback!

Buon appetito!

Tuscan pasta tordellata

If you like pasta with meat ragu, take a look at these other recipe. Italians don’t just make ragu with beef.

  1. Tagliatelle with authentic bolognese
  2. Bigoli with duck ragu from Veneto
  3. Tuscan wild boar ragu with pappardelle
  4. Fusilli with lamb ragu from Molis

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Tuscan pasta tordellata with ragu, Swiss chard and ricotta

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5 from 37 votes
Tuscan pasta tordellata
Tuscan pasta tordellata with ragu, Swiss chard and ricotta
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
 

This delicious double sauce pasta recipe from Tuscany is an unusual and tasty way to use up leftover ragu. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian, Tuscany
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, chard, ragu, ricotta, tordellata, Tuscan cuisine
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
Ingredients
  • 400 g gigli or campanelle pasta (14oz) You can also use other types of pasta such as pappardelle or penne
For the Ragu
  • 200 g minced/ground beef (7oz)
  • 200 g minced/ground pork (7oz)
  • 1-2 Italian pork sausages skin removed and chopped
  • 1-2 onions peeled and finely chopped
  • 2-3 carrots washed and finely chopped
  • 1-2 celery stalks washed and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary washed and chopped
  • 400 g fresh sauce tomatoes or tomato passata (14oz) Fresh tomatoes need to be peeled. blanch them in hot water then peel.
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
For ricotta sauce
  • 400 g fresh Swiss chard (14oz) washed and stalks removed
  • 250 g fresh ricotta (9oz)
  • 1 knob butter
  • 1 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
To complete the dish
  • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano (2oz) grated
  • salt for pasta
Instructions
Make the ragu
  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet. Add the chopped onion, carrot, garlic and celery; cook and stir until the onion becomes translucent. 

  2. Add the rosemary, sausage meat, ground beef and pork and cook and stir until browned.

  3. Add the red wine, stir, and let it evaporate. When the alcohol has evaporated, add peeled tomatoes or passata, stir and season with coarse salt and black pepper.

  4. Cover and let the ragu simmer at a low heat for at least an hour or more.

While the ragu is cooking make the ricotta and swiss chard sauce
  1. Prepare the chard by washing the leaves and cutting off the hard white stalk. Chop or tear the leaves into large pieces.

  2. Cook the chard in a pan with only the liquid that has stuck to the leaves when washed. Like cooking spinach. But if it dries out too much you can add a little more water. It takes about 10-15 minutes on a low heat.

  3. When the chard is ready, drain it and chop as finely as possible. Return it to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes more with a knob of butter. 

  4. Let the chopped chard cool and then combine it with the ricotta in a bowl. Generously grate some fresh nutmeg over the mixture and blend with a wooden spoon.

Cook the pasta
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. 

Finish the dish
  1. Save a cup of the pasta cooking water then drain the pasta and mix it with the ricotta and chard. If the sauce seems dry add a little of the pasta cooking water.

  2. Mix the pasta and ricotta well together and plate. Serve with a generous helping of ragu. You can do this as one layer or make 2. First pasta with ricotta and chard, then ragu and then more pasta with chard and finally some more ragu.

    Serve with grated cheese.

Recipe Notes

Cooking times include making the ragu from scratch. If you have leftover ragu, this dish is much quicker to make. 

I used gigli/campanelle pasta but pappardelle are also traditional and short pasta like penne work well too.

Want to know more about my life in Italy? Go to the homepage and subscribe to my newsletter. New subscribers get a free recipe e-book too! https://www.the-pasta-project.com

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67 Comments

  • Avatar
    Ramona
    January 29, 2020 2:43 pm

    What an absolute delightful pasta dish. I have made this last night and wow! Absolutely yummy. Will be making it again this week. The only change was the pasta , I did not find the gigli pasta and used spinach instead of swiss chard. Gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful recipe dear Jacqui.

  • Avatar
    Jacque Hastert
    January 28, 2020 9:31 pm

    I love that you have two sauces in one pasta dish! I can’t wait to make this next week.

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Banz
    January 28, 2020 4:02 am

    Both of the sauces were amazing!

  • Avatar
    Jo
    January 27, 2020 12:26 pm

    If every pasta recipe is so packed with flavors and would taste out of the world, then i would readily be eating pasta all days of the week. I love pasta that has more flavors in it. This recipe is just perfect.

  • Avatar
    Mikayla
    January 27, 2020 1:45 am

    I love all your recipes, and this one didn’t let me down! I usually make my ragu with only beef but this was a really delicious one, the sausage was fantastic!

  • Avatar
    Kathryn
    January 26, 2020 10:39 pm

    I’ve never heard of this dish before but it sounds fantastic! I’m a big fan of ricotta so must give this a try.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 12:48 am

      Thank you, Kathryn. I am sure you will love it!

  • Avatar
    Lathiya
    January 26, 2020 12:08 am

    Wow, this makes a great meal. Do you suggest any substitute for pork or can I just skip it?

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      January 26, 2020 9:28 am

      Thanks for you comment Lathiya. Yes this really is a great meal. No problem leaving out the pork. You can just double the quantity of beef or use veal instead!

  • Avatar
    Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
    January 25, 2020 11:20 pm

    Your recipes sound so delicious and easy! Definitely a comfort food my Italian in-laws and husband would aboslutely love! I can’t wait to make this!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 12:50 am

      Thank you, Lori. I hope it’s a big hit!

  • Avatar
    Peggy Wallace
    January 25, 2020 10:24 pm

    I run a gourmet grocery store on Long Island New York. I close every night so don’t get to cook at home very much. I found your website when I was looking up recipes for an unusual pasta sample I got at work. On my day off last week I made your tortalatta and it blew my family away! (me too!) I cheated and used my favorite jarred sauce from a local restaurant and I cooked up some sweet sausage and simmered in the sauce. It was so good, I am working my way through all of your recipes. Last night was pasta with Saffron Cream and Pancetta. MMMM. Husband said he could eat it every night! Also made Puttanesca, also amazing. I also love the sidebar stories you tell. You are my new favorite go to. Move over Martha Stewart!

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      January 25, 2020 11:59 pm

      Dear Peggy, I just saw your comment and had to answer before calling it a day! It’s time for bed here in Italy! Thank you so much for your comment. I’m thrilled you like my blog and have tried a number of recipes. Your feedback really makes all the effort I make to build the Pasta Project into a great site worthwhile! I hope you’ll try lots of other recipes! Have a great Sunday! All the best from Verona!

  • Avatar
    Emily
    January 25, 2020 6:33 pm

    This pasta combo is so delicious! I’m really feeling the swiss chard and ricotta sauce!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 12:52 am

      Thank you, Emily. It’s a really great meal!

  • Avatar
    Denise
    January 25, 2020 6:15 pm

    What a delicious looking meal. Those flavors sound sublime. This would be filling and satisfying.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 12:54 am

      Thank you, Denise. It is a really beautiful dish.

  • Avatar
    Alena
    January 25, 2020 5:44 pm

    The step-by-step photos are SO helpful! I love how hearty this dish is!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 12:56 am

      Glad they are useful, Alena! I find recipes with photos much nicer to follow.

  • Avatar
    Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness
    January 25, 2020 12:17 am

    The only ragu I knew about was the one you can buy here in a jar. This looks so much better!!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 12:57 am

      Thank you, Cathleen! These dishes are simple and delicious.

  • Avatar
    Veronika
    January 24, 2020 10:36 pm

    What a great flavor combination! It looks so comforting and delicious! Saving the recipe!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:00 am

      Thank you, Veronika. Comforting and hearty recipes are perfect for the colder weather!

  • Avatar
    Amy Dong
    January 24, 2020 1:23 pm

    I am a big fan of eating pasta I can actually eat pasta anytime of the day and this recipe of yours looks really delicious and look so easy to prepare. I will definitely making this for my family.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:00 am

      Me too, Amy! I am sure the family will love it.

  • Avatar
    Nart | Cooking with Nart
    January 24, 2020 6:06 am

    I am growing swiss chard in my garden. Was just thinking what I should use it for and now I know!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:02 am

      There are so many beautiful types of chard, it is such a great crop! I love the rainbow coloured stalks. This recipe is a perfect use for it.

  • Avatar
    Sonila
    January 23, 2020 1:30 pm

    Your pasta recipes are so perfect, I drool anytime I see any of your recipes and I just wish I took another trip to Italy:)). Love this Tuscan pasta tordellata with ragu swiss chard & ricotta.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:03 am

      Thank you, Sonila. I hope you get your Italy trip soon!

  • Avatar
    Simone
    January 23, 2020 12:05 pm

    God I wish we lived nearby each other… I’d be over for dinner whenever you’d have me. I just love all your recipes!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:03 am

      Thank you, Simone! You would be welcome any time!

  • Avatar
    Christy Boston’s Kitchen
    January 23, 2020 1:02 am

    Oh my this looks good! I love the addition of nutmeg. I am excited to try this!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:04 am

      I love nutmeg too, Christy. It is perfect in this dish.

  • Avatar
    Lesli Schwartz
    January 22, 2020 11:17 pm

    Love this campanelle pasta and everything in the sauce! My mouth is watering!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:05 am

      Thank you, Lesli. It is a beautiful dish!

  • Avatar
    Aleta
    January 22, 2020 7:16 pm

    Whoa, how have I never heard of this type of pasta dish before? Twp sauces? It’s like a dream come true! I love tortellini but yes, a lot of work to make, so this deconstructed version is just perfect!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:06 am

      Exactly, Aleta! A perfect dish – simple and delicious!

  • Avatar
    Raquel
    January 22, 2020 1:56 pm

    I always learn so much about pasta from your posts! Thank you for sharing your wealth of information regarding pasta with the world (:

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:07 am

      Thank you, Raquel. I love to share my passion for pasta!

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    January 22, 2020 12:43 pm

    My mouth literally started to water just by thinking about this dish. I am a sauce person, and if I can get TWO in one dish – that’s just amazing!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:09 am

      Thank you, Stine! Why have one sauce, when you can have two?!

  • Avatar
    Liz
    January 22, 2020 4:48 am

    Pork, ground beef and sausage, this sounds like perfection.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:09 am

      It is, Liz! Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Jere Cassidy
    January 22, 2020 4:26 am

    Amazing. I love everything about this pasta dish. The ragu sounds so flavorful with the different meats. Love the campanelle pasta.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:10 am

      Thank you, Jere. The different meats give a beautiful depth of flavour.

  • Avatar
    angela
    January 22, 2020 12:33 am

    We grow swiss chard, just like my nannie always did. Love this recipe!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:11 am

      I love the swiss chard crop! It’s so beautiful and full of goodness.

  • Avatar
    Beth
    January 21, 2020 11:01 pm

    The colors and textures make this look like such an appetizing meal. And I just love reading about and imagining preparing the variety of pastas you find near you!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:13 am

      Thank you, Beth. Hopefully, you can find some wonderful pasta suppliers near you.

  • Avatar
    Pam Greer
    January 21, 2020 10:53 pm

    I love this deconstructed version!! The extra effort to make the homemade ragu is totally worth it, though like you said, it’s also a great way to use leftovers!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:14 am

      Thank you, Pam. Anything that makes it easier (and more economical) is a good thing!

  • Avatar
    Joyce
    January 21, 2020 7:38 pm

    I love Swiss chard! This recipe looks amazing! Can’t wait to give it a try!thanks for sharing

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:14 am

      Me too, Joyce! It’s so tasty and good for you too!

  • Avatar
    Danielle
    January 21, 2020 2:59 pm

    I knew it was pasta tordellata but it was quite entertaining to find out that stor- and intordellata were the names of the same pasta. I wondered if they were! 2 sauces is definitely a bonus here.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:16 am

      Thank you, Danielle. Two sauces are definitely a winner!

  • Avatar
    Bernice Hill
    January 21, 2020 12:44 am

    Great recipe! So comforting and healthy too. Tortadella is the perfect pasta for this dish.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:17 am

      Thank you, Bernice. I love Tortadella too!

  • Avatar
    Tara
    January 20, 2020 10:29 pm

    I love gigli! Such a wonderful pairing of flavors in this dish, especially with the two sauces.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:18 am

      Thank you, Tara.

  • Avatar
    Taylor Kiser
    January 20, 2020 10:00 pm

    This dinner has Incredible flavors going on! Love it!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:21 am

      Thank you, Taylor.

  • Avatar
    Catherine
    January 20, 2020 9:19 pm

    Your photos are delicious! I’m craving this right now! Perfect winter’s night meal for the whole family.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 27, 2020 1:21 am

      Thank you! This is a perfect recipe for a family meal, especially in the colder months!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Anthony
    January 20, 2020 9:06 pm

    I love swiss chard and I am always looking for recipes that incorporate this tasty green. I also love that I can use my leftover ragu to make a completely new pasta dish.

  • Avatar
    Anita
    January 20, 2020 8:57 pm

    This is such a great one pot pasta dish option. I love the riccota sauce in this. 🙂

  • Avatar
    salvatore
    June 7, 2018 6:34 pm

    deliziosa ricetta, io l’ho mangiata

    • admin
      admin
      June 12, 2018 4:13 pm

      Grazie! Si e una ricetta speciale!

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